Alas, New Year’s Day is here and we have our final round of awards for 2017. We hope you’ve enjoyed our look back at the year and our awarding of those drivers who really stood out to us.
Six Canadian race seasons are in the books for Canadian Karting News and we are excited to once again bring you our Year in Review Awards where we highlight many of the drivers and moments who have stood out to us. It’s not hard selecting the winners for each of our categories, so we hope you understand that we do these awards based on our trackside experiences and with only good intentions.
We enjoy the opportunity to bring the CKN Nation the news and information about the sport we love so much and take passion in doing it. So we hope you enjoy our awards and are already looking forward to 2018 and seeing what all of our Canadian racers have in store.
Junior Driver of the Year
Nominees: Jason Leung, Thomas Nepveu, Jordan Prior, Gabriel Savoie, Patrick Woods-Toth
Winner: Gabriel Savoie
We had a very tough time selecting our Junior Driver of the Year. Combining the racers from both the two-cycle and four-cycle categories, there really wasn’t one driver who stood about the rest. But with that being said, Gabriel may have been the most consistent front-runner. We cannot recall too many races where Savoie didn’t lead laps in Briggs Junior. He was the ECKC Briggs Junior Champion. He took home victories at the CRFKC Briggs SummerFest as well as the TRAK/CRFKC night race, ECKC at Tremblant, and we could not forget his comeback at the Canadian Championships, in which he nearly took home the title.
Savoie still has another year or more left in Junior, which immediately puts him as a contender for any Championship he enters in 2018.
Senior Driver of the Year
Nominees: Marco Di Leo, Skylar Dunning, Ryan MacDermid, Marco Signoretti, Jonathon Treadwell
Winner: Marco Di Leo
When it came to racing in Canada in 2017, Marco Di Leo did a number on his competitors. A veteran in comparison to many of his rivals, Di Leo kicked off his Canadian season with five straight wins in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, allowing him to easily cruise to the title before the sixth race even began.
Although he wasn’t also to secure the Canadian National crown, he led laps in the Final as he looked for his third Canadian Championship in a row only to come up short. Closing out his Canadian year, he opened up the new Rok Cup Canada program with a victory at his home track in Goodwood to secure a ticket to represent Canada at the Rok Cup International Finals in Italy.
On top of his Rotax and Rok racing, Di Leo also competed in the Vega Cup shifter series, where he was victorious, as well as some CRFKC Briggs & Stratton LO206 action, showing his strengths across the board.
International Driver of the Year
Nominees: Jeffrey Kingsley, Cedrik Lupien, Ryan MacDermid, Kellen Ritter, Remo Ruscitti, Antonio Serravalle
Winner: Antonio Serravalle
While there were a number of Canadians who competed at major races in the USA in 2017, We didn’t have too many drivers venture outside of North America and represent the maple leaf in Europe, but one driver who did was Markham, Ontario’s Antonio Serravalle, and he caught the eyes of many as one of the youngest drivers in the KZ2 ranks.
Serravalle was extremely busy throughout the season, first making his shifter debut competing in the Florida Winter Tour and finishing eighth overall. From there he split his summer driving between Europe and North America, winning the Canadian Karting Championship, the six-round GearUp F-Series in the USA and representing Canada in the CIK European and World Karting Championships.
As the prize for winning the Canadian title, Serravalle earned an invitation to compete in the Rok Cup International Final in Italy and he did Canada proudly. He was consistently in the top-10 throughout the event and while a penalty in the Final relegated from finishing seventh overall, it was a still a stellar performance that stood out to us. He finished up his season at the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas where he once again put himself in the mix amongst the best shifter kart drivers from around the world.
Happy New Year CKN Nation! We will see you at the track in the near future.